British soldier 'killed by elephant' in Malawi

Mr Talbot is understood to have been killed by an elephant while on patrol

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A 22-year-old British solider has died while on a counter-poaching operation in Malawi, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

Mathew Talbot of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, was on patrol in Liwonde National Park on May 5 when he was killed by an elephant.

It was his first-ever operational deployment, the MoD revealed.

There are currently more than 30 British troops currently based in Malawi, where they are working to combat the illegal wildlife trade by training local park rangers in tracking, communications, surveillance, and intelligence-sharing.

Guardsman Talbot's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ed Launders, described the 22-year-old as a "determined and big-hearted" man, who devoted his life to serving his country.

"He was hugely proud of his work as a counter-poaching operator, and tragically died doing great good," he said.

"Mathew was loved by his brothers in arms in the Coldstream Guards. We will sorely miss his humour, selflessness and unbeatable spirit."

And defence secretary, Penny Mordaunt, said Guardsman Talbot served with "great courage and professionalism", and was carrying out "vital" anti-poaching work.

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